Five Ways Google Scores Your Content

What if Google assigned a “content score” to every page on your website? Experts think that’s exactly what Google does. So, to get more organic traffic to your site, you need to know the answer to this critical question: How do you improve your Google content score? Read the full article at MarketingProfs


Top 4 Reasons Why Headless Commerce is Better for Customer Experience

As a follow up to a recent post on why top brands are abandoning monolithic ecommerce solutions, this article explores how the future of commerce is proving why a headless commerce solution is a great alternative. Leading brands find that a headless commerce solution enables them to rapidly provide innovative customer experiences.


1. Get the best of both worlds

Full-stack solutions force brands to adopt their capabilities across the board and thus require the business to match the solution. Opposite of that are flexible API-based / headless solutions which allow brands to utilize best of breed capabilities that match the system to the business needs.

Full-stack ecommerce systems are like the once convenient yet now extinct TV/VCR combos. The TV/VCR were an all-in-one solution that served a basic need of playing recorded media on a TV. Since the TV and VCR were shackled together, if either piece had an issue the entire combo had to be upgraded or replaced. Additionally, as the market shifted with new technologies coming in, such as the DVD, and later to internet viewing devices, the rigid nature of the TV/VCR combo solution forced it into extinction. Like the TV/VCR combo, if an ecommerce solution is shackled to the front-end experience, changes to either the commerce engine or the experience layer require changes in both systems. So with the natural progression in technology like today’s shifts towards user experience touchpoints (some that don’t even have screens) the ridged nature of the ecommerce full-stack combo will force it into extinction.

It’s the same with ecommerce.

Be ready for what is coming and don’t compromise your customer experiences by going with, or continuing to modify, your traditional ecommerce system to keep up with the pace of change. Choose a system where the content management system (CMS) is decoupled from the ecommerce system. In this situation, you achieve the best of both worlds and there is no confusion caused by functional overlap. The CMS provides the entire customer experience, and the ecommerce system provides the transactional, merchandising and back-end information needed for currency and tax regimes. Clear separation of roles and responsibilities promotes and fosters consistency and speed on both ends.

headless commerce tv vcr

2. Make user experiences consistent

Your customers’ needs change along their buyer journey, but they should receive a consistent experience across all touchpoints no matter how or when they interact with your company. When commerce and customer experience are decoupled, all the customer experience pieces — like the user interface, urls and other UX features — are controlled in the CMS.  Here, digital creative professionals can best express the brand’s qualities and values, and marketing can manage content and present new offers without altering the ecommerce system.

user journey

3. Personalize the customer experience

People want to buy from companies who understand their personal needs and demonstrate this across all touchpoints. This extends well beyond the usual “people who bought this item also purchased…” The backend ecommerce system knows exactly what a customer has bought no matter how they made their purchases. It then fuels the personalization engines that can power the CMS, mobile apps and social channels — even POS — with custom offers made specifically for that customer. Marketing can design innovative customer experiences without disrupting the backend and without requiring an army of software developers and months of time.

personalized offer

4. Take advantage of agile marketing

Separating front-end CMS systems from back-end ecommerce puts marketing back in the driver’s seat. Marketing can rapidly roll out multiple sites across brands, geographies, divisions and portfolios.

For example, when entering a new geography, a new site can be set up in days, not months. Companies just have to theme the CMS once and it takes care of all the publishing. This allows you to dynamically alter strategies based on market opportunities and trends.

When designing new customer experiences, the headless commerce system can support new technologies as they arise. Marketing can rapidly onboard new channels and touchpoints. And on the backend, personalization engines and big data analytics can integrate with the commerce system to fuel unique customer experiences.

For companies with complex content and customer requirements, headless commerce presents an unprecedented opportunity to deliver consistent, personalized, and innovative customer experiences fast. For those contemplating how to incorporate emerging touchpoint technologies like the Internet of Things, bots, and wearables, headless commerce is really the only way to future-proof the customer experience.

Consumers expect to transact with brands anywhere and at any time. And they expect top brands to know who they are no matter how they interact. Contact us to find out how our headless commerce platform can give you the ability to stay ahead of customer experience expectations and take advantage of emerging technologies.


The post Top 4 Reasons Why Headless Commerce is Better for Customer Experience appeared first on Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog.


Killing Marketing – Book Interview

Killing Marketing

What if everything we currently know about marketing is what is holding us back? Over the last two decades, we’ve watched the entire world change the way it buys and stays loyal to brands. But, marketing departments are still operating in the same, campaign-centric, product-led operation that they have been following for 75 years.

The most innovative companies around the world have achieved remarkable marketing results by fundamentally changing their approach. By creating value for customers through the use of owned media and the savvy use of content, these businesses have dramatically increased customer loyalty and revenue.

Killing Marketing explores how these companies are ending the marketing as we know it–in favor of this new, exciting model.

The post Killing Marketing – Book Interview appeared first on Heidi Cohen.


Virtual Versus Augmented Reality? Which one will win out?

With the launch of iPhone X and ARKit, augmented reality has taken a giant leap toward becoming a mainstream technology rather than just a feature of immersive gaming apps. Both Apple (ARKit) and Google (ARCore) are making AR central to their mobile experiences. That means companies creating new digital customer experiences can start thinking about how to harness AR for ecommerce purposes. Brands can extend interactive, transactional experiences to customers wherever they are – as long as they have a mobile device in hand.

iPhone X is the thin edge of the AR wedge

Today, with the very top-end devices supporting AR, leading brands may consider matching their premium offerings with a premium customer experience. Today, ARKit works on iOS devices with A9 or later processors. However, as AR technology becomes popular and devices can accommodate it, more and more devices will incorporate it. For sellers, the idea of using AR will become more attractive.

You don’t have to stretch too far to see the future of digital stores could be a 3-D game-like shopping experience, placing the customer “inside.” TJ-Maxx’s hilarious new online store notwithstanding, these interactions probably will not mirror the in-store experience. Rather they could present items personalized to an individual in a unique 3-D environment, created especially for him or her, or for the product.

Apple iPhoneX

Buy a tent on a mountainside surrounded by forest?

For example, to sell outdoor equipment, a company might create a 3-D mountain scape with a stream and lush forest surrounding. The customer could place potential tents, stoves, and sleeping bags just like they would at a campsite situation. Walk around the scene and check things out from different angles. Specification and review overlays could present more information. Unique, realistic, testing could demonstrate the tradeoffs between tent weight and waterproofness. Press “heavy rain” + “wind” and the tent is tested against a storm for waterproofness, allowing people to understand better which equipment will meet their needs.

Change the environment altogether to a dry desert with Joshua trees and no water. Now select wind and sandstorm to test the same tent in those conditions. The visual representation of the tent standing up in certain conditions is a far more effective means of communicating its efficacy in different conditions than an IPL specification.

These are just hypothetical scenarios and digital agencies will be working around the clock to figure out how to present new customer experiences to leverage new AR technologies.

Buying tent in virtual reality

Never forget a face

ARKit allows developers to model a user’s facial geometry for facial recognition as well as for position and even for expression recognition. Right now, there’s no way to really judge a customer’s reaction to a product or service, unless they star or heart it, or come back to look several times. With AR, that all changes. Based on how a person is looking at the screen, or what their expression is, this in combination with personalization fueled by AI could call up their next experience.

Facial expression recognition provides a  new level of understanding “intent” for companies that they can use to assess the likelihood of a purchase and use that information to encourage or discourage that intent in real-time.

The customer doesn’t like that car? Show the vehicle from another angle, or in a different color, or in a 3D moving environment.

Buyer LOVES that coat? Show them available matching gloves and boots in their size, on their bitmoji.

In a way, you could think of digital expression recognition, in combination with AI, as a replacement for the skilled, empathic sales person who can read people well and smooth the sales process. Now developers have the tools to make this happen in augmented reality.

ARkit facial recognition

Virtual versus augmented reality

Which will win out? Virtual or augmented reality? North Face gave Korean customers a cool in-store VR experience with their dogsled ride via Occulus Rift headsets. The key words there are “in-store.” While VR is gaining traction, today it can’t beat the always-on mobile phone in terms of anytime, anywhere delivery. Not for now anyway do people carry around VR goggles. Nor have developers got the easy-to-use toolkits equivalents of ARKit and ARCore to make creating those experiences easier, more cost effective and timely. In the near term, AR is set to dominate customer experience.

Immersing commerce capabilities with augmented reality or virtual reality technologies requires a flexible, extensible e-commerce platform. Learn more about Elastic Path Commerce.


The post Virtual Versus Augmented Reality? Which one will win out? appeared first on Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog.